007 Legends Review
Classic collection of Bond films get lost in translation
The game is based around various shootout and stealth sections. Shootouts play like an early version of Call of Duty, as the weapons don’t have much feel to them, are mostly inaccurate, while the enemies take full clips to go down. Legends also takes the endlessly respawning enemies approach, making it frustrating and as unlike Bond as it can be. AI spawns in empty rooms and runs at the player, occasionally taking cover, with friendly AI being equally useless. An experience system has been thrown in that lets you upgrade weapons with attachments and silencers. And of course, there are vehicle and on-rail sections. The bottom line is that Legends is a very average shooter in its mechanics and various uninspired elements.
The stealth is equally poor, with no ability to peak or lean, hide bodies, and instant alarms if you’re seen. Should that happen, all guards are alerted in the area and converge on your location, prompting more shooting. Bond has a radar to indicate enemy position that’s supposed to help during stealth, but it’s so hard to read it’s not even worth bothering. Some light puzzles attempt to break up the pace, complete with easy minigames and scanning the environment with special vision goggles. But again these are merely diversions that were implemented far better in last year’s Reloaded.
When you’re done with the 6 hour or so offline campaign, and being completely dissatisfied at its pacing and lack of story, there are a few more modes to check out. As with the MI6 Ops Missions mode from 007: Reloaded, Challenges mode offers extra objectives-based missions. It’s a good distraction and attempting to set your leaderboard high score adds replay value. And of course there is multiplayer, with up to 12 players per match and all the familiar customization, ranking, and unlock systems in place. It’s largely unchanged from Reloaded, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing given the solid mechanics. Also, kudos to the developers for including a four player split screen offline multiplayer.
Legends also really struggles in the presentation. Last year’s Reloaded wasn’t anything breathtaking, but it looked and sounded fine for a modern action title. Legends, unfortunately, often comes in below the standard. Environments are bland, enemies and animations are as generic as they come, the visual design leaves a lot to be desired and quite simply, the textures and lighting look rather poor. The game’s menus look nearly identical to last year’s game. While a lot of actors from the films reprise their roles, nobody in particular stands out. Perhaps most disappointing is a lack of the classic James Bond music theme, while the rest of audio design is just OK.
Although it’s a recurring theme of this review, one has to wonder – what happened since 007: Reloaded? Not that it’s a huge surprise that a movie-tied video game isn’t exactly a monumental achievement, but fans will have rightfully expected better. The same developers, who only a year ago produced a much better title, plus a combination of some memorable Bond film moments sounds like a recipe for a success. Unfortunately, 007 Legends fails to live up to the idea of what could have been a much better game.